Is Technology making us Stupid.docx - Is Technology making...

This preview shows page 1 - 2 out of 5 pages.

Is Technology making us Stupid."Is the internet making us stupid?" I type. Press enter. Almost instantly, a raft ofanswers and articles on screen. It's an unsettling feeling that my first instinct – toGoogle my own stupidity – may be the root of my increasing daftness.A recent study (you've probably forgotten it by now) suggests 90 per cent of us aresuffering from digital amnesia. More than 70 per cent of people don't know theirchildren's phone numbers by heart, and 49 per cent have not memorised theirpartner's number. While those of us who grew up in a landline-only world may alsoremember friends' home numbers from that era, we are unlikely to know their currentmobiles, as our phones do the job. The Kaspersky Lab concludes we don't commitdata to memory because of the "Google Effect" – we're safe in the knowledge thatanswers are just a click away, and are happy to treat the web like an extension to ourown memory.Dr Maria Wimber, lecturer at the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology,worked with the internet security firm on their research. She believes the internetsimply changes the way we handle and store information, so the Google Effect"makes us good at remembering where to find a given bit of information, but notnecessarily what the information was. It is likely to be true that we don't attempt tostore information in our own memory to the same degree that we used to, becausewe know that the internet knows everything."These findings echo Columbia University Professor Betsy Sparrow's research on theGoogle Effect on memory, which concluded, "Our brains rely on the internet formemory in much the same way they rely on the memory of a friend, family memberor co-worker. We remember less through knowing information itself than by knowingwhere the information can be found."This even extends to photographs. A Fairfield University study in 2003 found thattaking photos reduces our memories. Participants were asked to look around amuseum, and those who took photos of each object remembered fewer objects anddetails about them than those who simply observed. Dr Wimber says: "One could

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture